I often get questions on how I decide what boards to take in, how long it will take, what the cost is and how I decide what boards are done in the order I do them in. These are all great questions that deserve a straight answer. The answer to that is, I don’t know.
I’ve been doing repairs and upgrades for a long time. Before I went public and offered my services I did a lot for personal friends and people I knew through them. That allowed me to take the time I needed to do the job at my own pace and ensure that the quality of it was one I’m known for. Now being public I have boards come in with issues and in a condition I won’t know until I open the box and out it on my bench.
This puts me in a position to make some hard but realistic decisions. Do I take hours and days to fix a board that came in with no hope of being an easy fix before others that came in after only needed new capacitors and some obvious clean up and replacement parts? Putting it bluntly, no I don’t. The easier boards are going to get done first, because they worked before arriving and just need some preventative maintenance done on them and some preservation to keep them going.
I try to be up front about this when I get emails about an inquiry for repairs. If I get a board in that’s in worse condition as described I will let you know my initial thought of it. I also don’t take any payments up front because I don’t do this as a primary source of income and it’s a hobby and a service to the retro community I enjoy being able to provide. That is why my prices, for a US based repair at least, is so low in comparison to a real full fledged electronics repair shop.
All this being said I just want to let anyone new to the site or to myself know what to expect when thinking about or sending something in. It can take time. In some cases LOTS of time. If you ever feel it’s been excessive, let me know. I’ll make it right for you as best I can. If I can’t fix it, I am not ashamed to admit it’s beyond my capabilities and refer to another technician. If I can’t fix it, I don’t charge anything in most cases unless money was spend in parts, and I won’t do that before talking with you first. My rates are mostly whatever seems fair. I don’t charge a set labor rate. I charge a bit over cost and enough to cover them. I make no real profit, and I’m fine with that. I have several people that pay extra and make donations to allow for this, and as long as I get donations and support outside of repairs I can continue with things as they are.
The last thing is contact and updates. Yes I can be slow on it, but I try. My normal job takes me out of state and the country quite regularly. This puts everything on hold while I’m gone. If you send something and only have the email or message sent as a point of reference I will have a hard time reaching you. I’ve got several things done or at a point I can’t continue with because of no way to contact the owner easily. This can be easily avoided if you put a note in the box describing your service and include your contact information such as email and phone number.
I love doing this and the trust you all have for me. Thanks for being so understanding and your continued support. I look forward to what the future brings in!